How to Create the Perfect Welcome Bag and What You Should Include
John C. Maxwell put it best when he said: “Family and friendships are two of the greatest facilitators of happiness” - And this couldn't be more true than on the most memorable day of your life, your wedding day.
It's not uncommon for loved ones to travel from all across the country, or even from abroad to see you and your spouse tie the knot.
In light of the enormous effort some of your guests will make to be there on your special day, you will likely want to show some appreciation. Nothing says thank you better than a personalized welcome bag.
When curated to perfection, your welcome bag is sure to make their arrival one to remember and kickstart wedding celebrations with a bang.
What are Wedding Welcome Bags?
In short, they're essentially goodie bags for your guests that are mostly aimed at your out-of-town visitors. Wedding welcome bags commonly include little gifts, treats, and pointers to nearby restaurants, attractions, amenities, and last (but by no means least!), details about the wedding day itself.
Welcome bags offer guests something to take home with them, which will hopefully serve as a cherished reminder of your wedding day. Not only that, but they're also a fantastic way to raise the spirits after a (potentially) long journey.
What Should You Include in Your Welcome Bags?
No matter how pretty the bag, what really counts, of course, are the contents. Here are a few ideas to fuel you with inspiration...
You can never go wrong with snacks and treats (providing you've taken allergies and dietary requirements into consideration).
It’s the little things like this that mean the world to those who have traveled to celebrate your love! A few refreshments are the perfect pick-me-up before your guests head into town to see what the area has to offer.
Here are a few suggestions to help get the ball rolling:
Customized water bottles. After a long day of travel, water will be one of the first things your guests want, making it an incredibly thoughtful token. Be sure to have the labels personalized. Maybe the date of your wedding and your wedding hashtag? Whatever you decide- just be sure to make it your own.
Locally-sourced snacks. For a more novel experience, provide a sample of the food that the area is famous for, such as chocolate from Milk Bar or some delectable, crispy Tate’s cookies from New York!
Miniature bottles of champagne. Nothing gets wedding guests in the right mood to celebrate your special day, like popping a mini bottle of champagne upon arrival.
Personalized mints. These work wonders for helping guests freshen up. Similar to the bottled water, you could also have these personalized. If you go down this route, be sure to consider your wedding color palette so that everything matches and exudes elegance.
As well as snacks and treats, consider a few practical goodies...
Are you holding your wedding somewhere where the weather is pretty predictable? If so, guests might benefit from pocket-sized sunscreen or insect repellent.
Hangover Kit- Weddings and a night to remember go hand in hand. Supply your guests with some hangover remedies to soothe the pain the next day. We suggest Tums, Alka Seltzer, Advil, band aids, and maybe even a Nip for some hair of the dog that bit you!
A guidebook or map of the local area. Find a supplier who will customize one for you, so you can add personalized recommendations of all the places you and your partner love visiting.
A beauty product like soap, lip balm, hand lotion or hand sanitizer never goes amiss. Again, try to make these gifts personal to the theme or location of your wedding. Perhaps, you're hosting a destination wedding? Include a beauty product from a local shop!
Lastly, don't forget your wedding welcome bag stationery:
You will want to slip in a few pieces that align with your wedding invitations and accessories. Your invitation designer will be able to assist with creating the below!
An itinerary for the wedding weekend - This is an absolute must. It never hurts to provide a reminder of where your guests need to be and when.
A thoughtfully written thank you card. Let guests know how thrilled you are they made the journey, and use this as an opportunity to welcome them more personally.
How to Present Your Welcome Goodies
Okay, so now you have the contents of your welcome bags sourced and sorted, it's time to decide how to present these gifts. A tote? Basket? Box? Perhaps you could commission boxes featuring the names of your guests? Or, include a personalized tag with a short message? You could even decorate the welcome bag with ribbon to match the wedding colors. The options to customize are endless!
Designing Wedding Welcome Bags: A Few Things to Remember
Of course, you can get as creative as you’d like with your wedding welcome bags, so needless to say, there are no firm rules. However, you might want to consider the following to ensure guests enjoy their goodies to the fullest:
Remember the weight of the bag. Sometimes less is more. Your guests won't want to lug around anything heavy as they try to navigate their way to their hotel room, so it’s best to keep it light and simple.
Make sure traveling guests can take everything home with them. Other than the bottled water (which will likely be consumed there and then), keep gifts in-line with airport guidelines. That way, your loved ones won’t have to throw out half of the bag’s contents at security.
Personalization is key. That personal touch makes all the difference. For more intimate affairs with fewer guests, you could even include a small gift explicitly picked for them. Where possible, feature bespoke designs to reflect your wedding's brand and color palette - or have your guest's names embossed or printed onto the labels.
Consider each guest. Of course, alcohol won’t be an appropriate gift for all your guests. Also, your vegetarian guests won't thank you for providing snacks they can't consume. So, be mindful of what you're gifting and to who.
Save Time: Ask Your Wedding Planners Advice on This!
Arranging and packing all of your wedding welcome bags yourself is a mammoth task - especially if you're hosting a larger wedding. This is where you'll want to call upon your wedding planner to help you out and make suggestions of what to include or a company to assist with assembling. One of our personal favorites here at Amy Katz Events is Gracious Goodies! Companies like Gracious Goodies can plan, create, and deliver your dream goodie bags so that you don't have to worry about organizing or sorting out anything.
Create the Perfect Welcome Bag for Your Perfect Wedding
Show your gratitude and appreciation by greeting your guests with a personalized welcome bag brimming with custom touches, yummy treats and items pertaining to your beautiful wedding day!
For more information on how a professional wedding planner could help you organize welcome bags, nothing short of divine, please contact our helpful team at Amy Katz Events.